Queen Elizabeth the First is supposed to have said as she died “All my possessions for one more moment in time” I think that if I had another life, I’d like to spend it making beautiful things out of wood. After every Hobart race, I’d go and drool a lot in my friend John Sutherland’s sheds in Tasmania where he made lovely furniture and had all the gear to do it. And now, half a world away preparing for another sailing race. my drool is becoming indecent. Elgin’s Dad has been a woodworker all his life. He makes musical instruments, mostly mirimbas and xylophones, and he has the best workshop in all the world. His basement is packed floor to ceiling with tools – old hand tools, ancient, massive cast iron presses and bandsaws, modern electric cutters and sanders and shapers, lathes, saws and little tuning machines. And clamps. Clamps in battalions, in rows and ranks and tiers – hanging from wherever there is space. Timber! – stacks of wood from everywhere, some of it many years old. And it smells like a woodworking shop would smell in your dreams. We went to visit him to borrow some clamps and to make a wooden pad for the masthead tricolor. Not just any wooden pad but one made from padauk, a lovely deep orangey red timber that is hard and durable and perfect for the job.More on clamps later. The photos show Elgin cutting the pad with a band saw and the masthead with the pad and the light fitted. Cooool. <#m_-8102130588265121752_m_-302413698171978082_DAB4FAD8-2DD7-40BB-A1B8-4E2AA1F9FDF2>

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